Two of my favorite things in life: raspberries and lemons. Love them together, love them separately. But boy are they good together.
As a lemon lover, you better believe I can throw down some lemon bars. They are one of my absolute favorite desserts (Exhibit A: It is my one and only Paleo dessert recipe)! You know what makes them even better? You guessed it! Raspberries! Every bite of these raspberry lemon bars is like drinking raspberry lemonade while eating your favorite lemon bar. Which I could totally go for right about now.
These little lemon bars are made up of three layers. Only two are necessary, but I recommend all three. The first is the crumbly crust.
To make the crust mix together butter, sugar, flour, and lemon zest. To make this easier on yourself, you use food processor to form it into a crumbly dough. If you like to work for your food, then you can use a pastry cutter, a couple knives or forks, or just your hands. They all work great!
Once the dough has sort of formed into a ball, dump it into a square pan and press it down into the bottom and a little bit up the sides. Take a fork and stab it a couple times to make sure that no big air bubbles form. Then pop it in the oven to par bake for a couple minutes while you get the filling ready.
The filling is lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, eggs, a bit of flour, and some raspberry juice.
To get the raspberry juice, blend the raspberries with a bit of the lemon juice and then strain it back into the measuring cup before adding it to the filling. Once it’s mixed all together, you just pour the filling right into the crust and then bake for another few minutes.
To add even more raspberry to these raspberry lemon bars, you can sprinkle some raspberries into the filling so that there is a little bit of raspberry in each bite.
At the last minute, I decided that there just wasn’t enough raspberry for me, so I decided to make a raspberry curd to go on top.
Raspberry curd is exactly like lemon curd, except you substitute some raspberries for lemon juice. It sounds fancy, but it takes less than 10 minutes to make! Once the lemon curd has cooled a bit, you can spread it over the baked lemon bars, then pop then in the fridge to chill.
I like to let my raspberry lemon bars chill at least a couple hours so that all the layers set and they are a whole lot easier to cut. Just look at those layers! Crunchy, crumbly crust, topped with a sweet raspberry-lemon filling, topped with a raspberry curd. I could just dive right through this computer screen and take a bite.
And don’t forget those little pieces of raspberries! Since the raspberry flavor isn’t overwhelming, it’s nice to get that little pop of berry to balance out the sour lemon.
Now go run off and make these and let me know what you think! If you are a lemon bar lover like me, I would love to know if you like this raspberry version even better!
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp lemon zest
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup raspberries
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 1/2 cup raspberries (preferably frozen)
- 1/2 cup raspberries
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 4 egg yolks
- 5 tbsp butter, room temperature
- pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line an 8x8" pan with parchment paper.
- In the work bowl of a food processor, mix together butter, flour, sugar, lemon zest, and salt until a shaggy dough forms. Press the dough into the bottom of the pan and use a fork to poke holes across the top of the dough. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the edges just barely start to brown.
- Meanwhile, mix together the filling. Blend together the lemon juice and raspberries, then strain through a mesh strainer. Pour mixture into a bowl, and whisk together with the eggs, sugar, flour, and lemon zest.
- Pour mixture into the pan and place back in the oven. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool to room temperature before topping with curd.
- To make the curd, add the sugar, lemon juice, zest, and egg yolks to a sauce pan. Whisk together until combined, then add in the raspberries. Use the whisk to smash and break down the raspberries. Place over medium heat then add butter and salt. Continue to whisk while the butter melts. Once the butter has melted and bubbles start to pop up (the mixture should not be boiling), remove from heat. About 5-7 minutes. The mixture should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve. Pour strained curd on top of the lemon bars and spread out into an even layer. Place in the fridge to chill until the curd has set. At least 30 minutes.